1) Hire a lawyer located in the city in which you wish to relocate - consider engaging a lawyer who understands the online nature your work because ultimately that lawyer will have to prepare your submission to Citizenship and Immgration Canada and they should understand the business.
2) With your lawyer, explore the immgration category that best applies to your special set of poker playing skills. The likely categories will be business class and provincial nominee program.
3) If your partner or spouse is likely to be a stronger immigrant applicant, have your partner be the primary applicant for immigration purposes.
4) Visit Canada as a business visitor a few times to meet with your lawyer and familiarize yourself with the culture and your future working environment.
5) A criminal record will have to be dealt with long before you immigrate to Canada - if it involves a DUI, get it resolved in conjunction with your immigration process.
6) Do not misrepresent any facts on your immigration application or at any time while entering Canada to visit.
7) Do not publicly comment about your intended immigration to Canada at any time.
8) Do not negatively comment about U.S. and Canadian laws that criminalize the online poker sites that offer their services to American or Canadian residents. Immigration officials will conduct an online search of you and any indication that you do not respect the rule of law will not be well received.
9) Make sure you understand tax advice you receive for your prospective activities in Canada. Generally speaking, gambling wins in Canada are tax-free unless the wins are professional income. The distinction appears to be whether you are a casual player or whether you play as your primary occupation.
10) Do not tweet that you are immigrating to Canada and without applying in advance, show up at the border expecting to receive a green light to enter. Unless you qualify as a refugee, you must apply to enter Canada in advance if you wish to work, relocate or immigrate here.
(These tips from Christine Duhaime, who can be followed on twitter @cduhaime)
Moving to Canada to Play Online Professionally?
10 Tips for You...
The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) is the leading non-profit membership organization representing American poker players with the goal of establishing a safe and secure place to play poker. Formed in 2005, the PPA’s membership has grown to nearly one million poker players nationwide, enabling the PPA to serve as the unified voice on behalf of Americans’ right to play poker in all its forms.
On Capitol Hill and in state houses across the country, the PPA works with key lawmakers to raise awareness of the issues impacting the U.S. poker playing community and promote sensible public policies that benefit and protect all American consumers online and offline. As the recognized expert on the game of poker, the PPA is also an established legal resource, taking the argument that poker is a game of skill directly to state and federal courts.
John Pappas Interview
Executive Director, PPA
John Pappas has been engaged in high-level policy and political consulting in Washington, D.C., for nearly two decades. Prior to taking a full-time position as vice president of government affairs for the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) he was a public affairs consultant for the Washington PR firm Dittus Communications. During his four years at Dittus, Pappas served as a media and policy advisor for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, start-up firms, trade associations and grassroots organizations like the PPA.
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The PPA is fortunate to have the financial support of Amaya Gaming, the parent company of PokerStars and the world leader in regulated internet poker. Their support along with donations from the poker community give it the ability to fight for your poker rights. The PPA's priority is to work towards solutions that put poker consumers and poker competition first. With your help, we can have safe and fun live and online poker (and online gaming) across the country.
The Poker Players Alliance (PPA)
Internet Gambling in Canada
• 70.7% of Canadians gamble.
• 3.2% are affected by problem gambling (3.5% in Ontario).
• 2.1% engage in Internet gambling (not including using the Internet to buy/sell high-risk stocks and day trading).
• Internet gambling has increased since 2004 but it is the least common form of gambling.
The three most common forms of gambling among adults who gamble include:
- 92.9% lotteries
- 67.5% instant-win tickets
- 33.9% electronic gaming machines.
• In Canada, the most commonly engaged in forms of online gambling are playing skill games (mostly poker) and playing lotteries (59.7% and 23%, respectively).
• Males prefer sports betting and games of skill while females prefer online bingo. Poker Quotes
"I love poker but greatness in poker is an elusive dream. There are too many variants. Trying to find validation in poker is like trying to find a virgin in a whorehouse. I'm not giving up poker entirely – gambling is an addiction after all. I'm just going to treat it more like a hobby and less like a career."
- Jennifer Tilly in her December, 2008, monthly column in Bluff magazine.
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